Scripture Verse

God of our fathers, art not Thou God in Heaven? 2 Chronicles 20:6

Introduction

portrait
Daniel C. Roberts
1841–1907

Words: Dan­i­el C. Ro­berts, 1876.

Music: Na­tion­al Hymn George W. War­ren, 1888 (🔊 pdf nwc). War­ren wrote the mu­sic for the cen­ten­ni­al cel­e­bra­tion of the Unit­ed States Con­sti­tu­tion.

portrait
George W. Warren
1828–1902

The hymn was writ­ten in 1876 for a cel­e­bra­tion of the Cen­ten­nial Fourth of Ju­ly, and sung at Bran­don, Ver­mont, to the tune called Rus­sian Hymn! When our Gen­er­al Con­ven­tion ap­point­ed a Com­mis­sion to re­vise the Hym­nal, I sent it, with­out my name, prom­is­ing to send the name if the hymn were ac­cept­ed. It was ac­cept­ed and print­ed anon­y­mous­ly in the re­port of the Com­mis­sion.

Before the Hym­nal was print­ed, the Rev­er­end Dr. Tuck­er, late of Troy, ed­it­or of our best mu­sic­al Hym­nal, and Mr. George Will­iam War­ren, or­gan­ist of St. Tho­mas’ Church, New York, were ap­pointed to choose a hymn for the cen­ten­ni­al cel­e­bra­tion of the adop­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion. They se­lect­ed this hymn, then anon­y­mous, and want­ing a tune, Mr. War­ren com­posed a tune to which it has since been set in the Tuck­er Hym­nal.

Lyrics

God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.

Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast,
Be Thou our ruler, guardian, guide and stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.

From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.

Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.